Kolochi Baw

informació obra


Creada i produïda a Bamako (Mali), Kolochi Baw parteix del procés d’investigació que Aïda Colmenero Dïaz està duent a terme en el marc del premi Pina Bausch Fellowship. Amb 5 intèrprets de Ruanda, Mali, Senegal i Costa d’Ivori, l’espectacle reflexiona sobre els conceptes de so, vibració i sacrifici en els processos d’aixecar grans construccions de la humanitat, així com aquells sacrificis lligats a la bogeria.

Aïda Colmenero Dïaz és creadora, actriu, coreògrafa, ballarina, cineasta i comissària d’arts escèniques, amb un treball que reflexiona sobre la identitat i el llegat cultural. Les seves obres remeten a l’essencialitat de l’ésser humà i a la connexió amb la naturalesa visible i invisible i parteixen de processos creatius col·lectius. Ha treballat amb coreògrafs internacionals, com Germaine Acogny, António Tavares, Nora Chipaumire o Nadia Beugré. Recolzada i produïda per les Ambaixades d’Espanya i per organismes internacionals com Casa Africa, Aïda combina la seva tasca com a coreògrafa amb la docència, impartint masterclass a centres i universitats de tot el món.

Crítica: Kolochi Baw


Keepers of faith

per Alx Phillips

The Great Mosque of Djenné in the West African country of Mali is an awesome building. It looms like a giant sandcastle, smooth, lumpy and proudly imperfect, with a scattering of windows and bundles of palm sticks or ceramic pipes jutting from its walls; this strange decoration has a practical purpose: it acts as scaffolding for annual repairs or channels rain water down from the roof.

The robust mud mosque and its origins are inspirations for the atmospheric performance piece Kolochi Baw. Created by the Spanish choreographer Aïda Colmenero Dïaz, and based on research made possible thanks to the Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography awarded her in 2021, the piece hinges on a gruesome local legend; it is said that when the mosque was built a human sacrifice was pushed alive into its thick drying walls to ensure the edifice stood the test of time. 

As Dïaz explains, Kolochi Baw means ‘custodians’ in Bambara, the language most commonly spoken in Mali. These keepers were employed to safeguard ancestry using all their human senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Struck by the story of the Djenné mosque and the young woman wedged in its walls, Dïaz says that she wished “to explore all the things hidden when constructing celebrated architecture: pyramids, mosques or cathedrals, the social, personal and political causes, and the immense sacrifices made in their creation.” 

Five dancers from Mali, Senegal and the Ivory Coast in West Africa, and Rwanda in East Africa perform in the lengthy, lulling 80-minute piece. They cower behind flimsy corrugated cardboard, ochre lights swaying above them on thin curved frames. The space seems vast yet enclosed, an African sublime. Each figure is identically isolated, and calls out through the darkness in cries and bird calls. Connections form and fade. There are bursts of fluid movement and outbreaks of madness, each subdued under a blanket of darkness.

To keep architecture strong, its custodians must understand its value and that of their own sacrifice. Here that duty is passed on somewhat weightily to the audience. As watchers we are required to maintain a steady focus, a connection, however fragile, to a drifting narrative. However, despite the powerful visuals and superb soundscape, the fragmentary piece is tricky to follow; a different form of staging closer to installation would better draw the public in.